Imatges de pàgina

road purposes ave been made for likely to affect the the lands gr

and that success manifest, by the actual use the government is invited to make of it.

It remains to be shown that the expense of the undertaking is commensurate with its advantages in practice.

All the memorialists ask, after ihe line is completed and in working order, is a donation of two millions of acres of land along the line, or in some other territories of the United States not interfering with the grants that may have been made, or may hereafter be made, for railroad purposes. This is a small donation, compared with the liberal granıs which have been made for railroads and other improvements of a less general character, and less likely to affect the wealth and progress of the whole country. Neither is it asked that the lands granted shall be in a continuous line, only benefiting the grantees. The improvements on the line will enhance the value of the adjacent lands, cause their settlement, and thus bring them, at an early period, into market. The telegraph will be the forerunner of civilization and power, and increase the revenue of the government from customs and divers other sources.

But there is yet another most important consideration. The memorialists do not ask that the government shall grant them lands without receiving an equivalent. They bind themselves, in perpetuity, to transmit monthly, free of charge, and prior to all other business, eight thousand words for the sole use of the government, and agree to work the line, day and night, without interruption. This the committee consider the most valuable feature in the whole proposition. At the rate of charges proposed by the memorialists for so large a distance, and worked at so great an outlay of labor and capital, it would be equal to the payment of $100,000 per annum; but the actual saving to government in expresses, messengers, &c., would amount to much more, and far exceed the interest on the value of the donated lands. Viewed in this light, the grant of lands from the government would, in fact, be nothing else but a perpetual lease of them, at a yearly rent of $100,000 and upwards; and not in the nature of a gift, but of a profitable investment.

Considering, then, that the memorialists assume the whole risk and responsibility of the enterprise, and that the government is only called upon, at its successful completion, to make a moderate grant of land for the use of it, in all time to come, in the nature of rent, their proposition appears eminently just and reasonable on the face of it, and perfectly safe to the government.

Your committee beg leave to report the accompanying bill.

2d Session. 3

? No. 6.


[To accompany bill H. R. No. 363.]

DECEMBER 27, 1854.-On motion of Mr. John J. Taylor, ordered to be printed.

Mr. CORWIN, from the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, made the



The Committee on Revolutionary Claims, to whom was referred the petition

of the heirs of Thomas Park, deceased, beg leave to report:

That they have examined all the papers in the case, and find the report heretofore made in this case to be correct, and sustained by proper testimony, and which your committee adopt and herewith again report, together with a bill for relief.

In the case of the heirs of Thomas Park, it appears that said Thomas Park, during the war of the Revolution, was an inhabitant of Groton, in the State of Connecticut, and was captain of a privateer called The Prudence,” commissioned by Governor Trumbull, of that State.

That in the month of February, 1782, while cruising off the coast of Connecticut, he found floating and took up a quantity of sails and rigging belonging to the British vessel-of-war “Bedford," and which had been thrown overboard in a gale.

That, in the month of April thereafter he sold the sails and rigging to Captain Harding, then commanding the continental vessel “Confederacy;" that they were sold to him as agent for the government, and for the national benefit, for the sum of $800; that Captain Harding gave a receipt for the property, and promised to procure the money from the United States government and pay it over.

That subsequently a party of tories made an incursion into Groton, broke open Captain Park's house in the night, plundered it of everything valuable, and, among the rest, of his papers, including the said receipt.

The petitioner negatives ever having had any pay, and assigns reasons why he did not apply earlier.

The petition was verified by the oath of the petitioner March 14, 1826.

The petition is sustained in all its material facts by the affidavit of Hugh É. Fiddis, who was powder-boy on the “Prudence” when the sails and rigging were taken up, who saw the “Bedford” shortly before the gale, and soon after saw the sails and rigging floating, to which were attached blocks on which were plainly marked the words “ The Bedford,” and assisted in taking thein up. This witness was afterwards powder-boy on board the government vessel “Confederacy," Captain Harding; was present at the sale by Park to Harding; and knows the sales and rigging were used on board the “Confederacy” in the United States service.

Thomas Eldridge, a gunner on board the privateer, in his affidavit, sustains also all the material facts of the petition as to the taking up and also the sale of the sails and rigging.

The robbery of the house and loss of the receipt is also proved by the affidavits of Fiddis and of Hannah Tower, both of whom were in the house at the time.

The case has been several times reported upon favorably—the first time as early as 1830.

In the mean time Captain Park himself has died, and the case is now prosecuted by his heirs.

It is submitted that in a case like this, of a liquidated demand, which if against an individual would carry interest, interest ought to be allowed, at least from the time of the first application in 1830.

2d Session. S

No. 7.


[To accompany bill H. R. No. 616.]

JANUARY 5, 1855.

Mr. Hunt, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the following


The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of

Richard Fitzpatrick, praying compensation for military services rendered at various periods, have had the same under consideration, and beg leave respectfully to submit the following report :

Richard Fitzpatrick, the petitioner, served at various periods in the army of the United States. He was appointed an aid-de-camp by General Clinch in his Seminole campaign, and served in that capacity from the fall of 1835 to the month of May or June following—up to the retirement of that general. He was better acquainted with the country—the field of military operations—than any man in the army. He was bold and intelligent, and always ready and forward to render any useful service. He enjoyed the confidence of his general ; and it is proved by a gallant officer, who was associated in the service with him-Captain Thurston, formerly of 3d regiment artillery—that no one in General Clinch's wing of the army rendered more active and real service than he did.” His conduct did not fail to attract the attention of the close-observing general-in-chief. General Scott says that he personally saw much of Colonel Fitzpatrick in the march from Fort Drane to Tampa Bay and back to the north of Florida, in the campaign, and that he can testify to his zeal and the great value of his services in that march. Subsequently the petitioner received the appointment of aidde-camp from General Call, a short time after his taking the command in Florida, during the Seminole war, and served in the staff of that officer from the 20th September to the 7th December, 1836, when he (General Call) was relieved by General Jesup.

General Call, in his testimony as to the services of the petitioner, says : Colonel Fitzpatrick was a valuable and efficient member of his staff, performing, as necessity required, the duties of aid-de-camp and quartermaster during the campaign against the Seminole Indians.”

It also appears, to the satisfaction of the committee, that the petitioner rendered service in the late war with Mexico. He volunteered at Camargo, in August, 1846, for the term of the war, and served as a private in Capt. McCullough's celebrated company, and was honorably discharged after the taking of Monterey. During this period of his ser

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